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Delhi Court Sent Mohammed Zubair to 4-days Police Remand

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Mohammed Zubair Law Insider

Shivani Thakur

Published on: June 29, 2022, at 17:38 IST

Mohammed Zubair, a co-founder of Alt News, was sent to police custody for four days by a Delhi Court in a case of inciting religious hostility that was filed based on a tweet he sent out in 2018.

The Court said that Zubair has remained non-cooperative and that he has to be taken to Bengaluru for recovery of his mobile phone and laptop.

It further rejected the argument that Zubair was not served Section 41A notice under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Section 41A notice has been given to the accused and is part of record of the police file.

The submissions with respect to photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie ‘Kissi se na kehna’ of the year 1983 are also of no assistance to the accused at this stage,” the order said.

In a case of inciting animosity between religious groups that was filed based on a tweet he published in 2018, a Delhi court ordered Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to police prison for four days.

Such tweets were getting retweeted and it appeared that there is a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and is overall against the maintenance of public tranquility,” a statement by Delhi Police said.

Advocate Vrinda Grover contended, “This image is available in many tweets. This image is from a film of Hrishikesh Mukherjee – Kissi Se Na Kehna. It stars Farukh Shaikh and Deepti Naval. In the film, it is a newly married couple and they go to the hotel.”

“This image which is being shown as a reason for arresting somebody is from a Hindi cinema…Ye film ban nahi huyi thi. Sabne dekhi thi. (This film was not banned. Everyone watched it).”

She noted that other people had tweeted that picture, but her client was being bullied because of the fact-checking work he did.

She added that Zubair’s laptop was being sought after by the police. Grover stated the following in regards to Zubair’s offences:

“The penalty under 153A is max 3 years. The penalty under 295 is up to 2 years. This is a tweet of 2018. Their own cause of action is March 2018. If an anonymous Twitter handle chose to create mischief in the country those reasons should be investigated.”

His counsel also added that,“Let us take the tweet of Hanuman Bhakt on face value. It is not a case of 153A. In any case, he is not the spokesperson of everyone…Who does it incite? What are the groups? What is the insult? Many tweeted and still no flutter. Honeymooners and brahmacharis are not two groups creating unrest in the country.”